Enraged Iranian MPs call for death to opposition leaders

MPs said that the West had orchestrated protests using opposition leaders.

Last Updated: Feb 15, 2011, 17:39 PM IST

Tehran: Several Iranian MPs Tuesday said leaders of their country`s opposition should be put to death as several protesters took to the streets in the aftermath of demonstrations in Tunisia and Egypt.

The MPs shouted: "Death to Moussavi, Karroubi and Khatami".

The MPs singled out Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi
Karroubi, who had called for protests in Tehran on Monday in
support of Arab uprisings that quickly turned into
anti-government demonstrations and ended in clashes with
police.

Mohammad Khatami, former reformist president, also came
under fire from the nation`s conservatives following his open
backing of the opposition movement since disputed June 2009
presidential elections.

They said the United States, Britain and Israel had
orchestrated Monday`s protests using the opposition leaders,
who, according to parliament speaker Ali Larijani were being
"misled" by Iran`s arch-foes.

"The parliament condemns the Zionists, American,
anti-revolutionary and anti-national action of the misled
seditionists," a visibly angry Larijani told the parliament.

"How did the gentlemen (Mousavi and Karroubi) ... fall
into the orchestrated trap of America?" he asked.

"Should they not have been cautious given the support,
pleasure and joy of America and Israel as well as monarchists
and Monafeghin?" Larijani added, referring to the outlawed
People`s Mujahedeen of Iran (PMOI).

He also urged that a committee to be formed to probe and
"confront" the opposition movement.

Ahmad Reza Radan, deputy police chief of Iran, too said
the US, Britain and Israel had directed Monday`s "illegal"
gatherings.

Despite a strict ban on the rally, heavy security force
deployment and the placing of Mousavi and Karroubi under de
facto house arrest, thousands of opposition supporters took to
streets of the capital yesterday.

The demonstrations sparked violent clashes in which riot
police fired tear gas and paintballs at demonstrators,
witnesses and websites said.

Radan today confirmed an earlier news agency report that
a protester had died in the clashes.

"One person was martyred by Monafeghin in the shooting at
yesterday`s events," Radan was quoted as saying by Fars news
agency.

"In the events yesterday, some rioters were arrested and
unfortunately Monafeghin elements fired shots at people and
security forces. In these shootings nine security force
members and some others were injured," he said, adding that
one of the wounded security members was critical.

PTI